Just saw that a new m stage hpa2 has been released. Anyone has any opinions on them?
8th January 2014:
Received my order of my matrix mstage hpa2 (the non usb version). Order was placed on 17th December 2013 and arrived today 8th January 2014 (Australia).
I received the mstage box bubble wrapped. Packaging could be better, but nothing seems to be damaged or anything. It does come with a power cord. Gone are the gain switches now. Finishing wise it seems more glossy compared to my Audiolab Mdac and seems pretty well built. after half an hour, it does get much hotter than my mdac though.
Currently my gears are as follow:
Acer Netbook -> QED USB Cable -> Audiolab MDAC -> RCA cable (some local 18 bucks cable) -> Matrix Mstage HPA2 -> AKG Q701
This is my first impression I am writing as I am new to this hobby, so please bear with my simple review.
My impression when listening between Audiolab Mdac headphone out and Mstage HPA2 out is that i still prefer my mdac headphone out as compared to mstage hpa2. I bought it in anticipation that it would warm up my bright AKG Q701 but instead I am rather surprised to find that I actually prefer the bass definition of my MDAC.
When playing via the Mstage, it seems that the vocals are more upfront compared to the mdac and the mids are recessed. Mdac has a better overall balance for the sound which i like. For myself, it seems as though there is this focus on high and low in the mstage and lacking the mids.
In terms of transparency, i find that mstage clouds the sound a bit. Vocals I could feel it is more forward, bass was not as well defined as the mdac. At the same time, when playing some music I could hear some static background on the mstage and on the audiolab mdac, the sound is much cleaner.
I just recently purchased a sennheiser hd800 and will try it on that later. Now the focus is on AKG Q701. For myself again, hd800 is a different animal compared to AKG Q701 when I was listening on the mdac. HD800 seems smoother, bass was better just better in all ways I felt. AKG Q701 seems to have a certain harshness to it, hence the reason why I wanted to get the mstage.
Anyway, will update on my impression later on. This is my impression after listening to it for like 45 minutes ...
Edited by zting - 1/7/14 at 6:41pm